BILLINGS – As the below zero temperatures continue into the weekend, local shelters are dealing with an influx of people needing a place to go.
The Billings Crisis Center offers mental health and substance abuse services to our area homeless population. The building capacity is just 45, so when it’s full, the center has to turn people away.
Marcee Neary, the center’s program director, said while it’s difficult whenever capacity is hit, it’s always hard when the temperatures are this cold because so many people are looking for a place to go.
She said what has helped is the creation of the “My Backyard” project.
Three Billings churches have partnered with the Crisis Center to provide shelter and basic care to those who cannot stay at the Crisis Center.
Neary said when the temperature is below 32 degrees, and the Crisis Center has reached its capacity, Billings First Church, First Baptist Church and First Christian Church will all help take people in. This allows those who have been identified as having a lower level of need for the center’s services to not be turned away completely when it is unsafe to stay outside.